Bombastic Declaration of Love – Julie Cafmeyer

There is nothing more personal that the truth, and to present the truth of stage is an invariably brave act. The stage after all has for many years been an arena of lies and performance. This is the challenge when presenting works of autobiographical theatre.

The performance was at its strongest when it was at its truest, when she was speaking to the audience from her heart not from a script.

Julie Cafmeyer presents a Bombastic Declaration of Love to the men she has loved throughout her life. The feel of the performance is genuine, we see real photographs, texts and even recordings. The men are all given their real names – a lover deserves their name – as she puts it. She talks to the audience on an intimate and friendly biases, attempting to create genuine connections.

To try and form this connection with the audience Julie regularly asks various audience members questions about the stories she is telling, however this could have gone further as the questioning rarely got more engaging than “do you relate to this?” She did succeed in opening a dialogue with the audience but it was far from an intimate affair. What this questioning did do though was encourage instant reflection on the work and how it applies to your own life rather than simply engaging with theatre as a passive event which is so often can be.

A particularly interesting concept Julie brought to the production was the classic idea of life imitating art – even more poignant when the art you are producing is literally about your life. She did this through regular references to other artists and how their work had inspired both her life and practice. Although this was very interesting, drawing comparisons with greats like Abramovich did not do her any favours, instead it permitted the audience to consider what this performance could have been but ultimately was not. In particular, speaking about the late Spalding Gray’s legendary series of autobiographical monologues whilst sitting at a similar desk delivering a slightly underwhelming autobiographical monologue perhaps isn’t the best idea.

The performance was at its strongest when it was at its truest, when she was speaking to the audience from her heart not from a script. In these moments it become personal and engaging, and that is the sense that you are left with as you leave the space. Autobiographical theatre is hard to pull off. Julie Cafmeyer’s attempt to make it an accessible and interactive form of storytelling art is commendable but doesn’t quite achieve its goals.

Reviews by Gillian Bain

Assembly George Square Studios

Girl Scouts vs Aliens

★★★★★
Summerhall

The Desk

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

M.E.H

★★★
Just the Tonic at The Charteris Centre

Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale

★★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Queer Words

★★★
Summerhall

Pussy Riot: Riot Days

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Old boyfriend photos, emails, texts, audio recordings and poetry. Struggling with her love life, Julie Cafmeyer experiences orgasms, despair, rejection and heaven. In an intimate setting, and with you the audience, she strives to create a genuine connection. A show that's both vulnerable yet utterly fearless, giving us an insight into the heartaches that we all share. More than just another coming of age story; it redefines what theatre can be as we are taken along on a journey to find out what it is that we all define as love.

Most Popular See More

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets